Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Why Avoid Mistakes When You Can Plan Them?

We all know the routine: maximize our skills to get the most benefits, and minimize our mistakes. However, there is something we all intuitively know. First, the more we focus on not making a mistake, the more likely we will make a mistake. And second, it becomes to easy to just play it safe. And that can lead to uninspired results. This is especially true in corporate environments where the role of creative is not always understood. So, pressure to minimize mistakes often stifle creative thought.

But, I believe there is a better way even in those difficult situations. Try planning your mistakes.

Here's what I mean:

  1. Play. Take time to play and experiment with all sorts of concepts. Fool around with software programs you are unfamiliar with. You will be surprised at how much you can learn and have fun doing it.

  2. Attempt. Create an unusual design challenge, and find someone who may be able to use it. For example, if you've never done an email campaign with a micro-website, try it out. Offer your services to a client or co-worker as a side project to help them (not to profit from necessarily). Then you will be challenged without the fear of messing up. And, again, you will benefit from the experience by enlarging your skill set.

  3. Try. Do something that is outside of your design sphere and unfamiliar. Write an article, paint a portrait, build a model airplane, learn the piano, or plant a garden. These experiences will not only increase your satisfaction, but they will build all sorts of new neurons in your brain that will affect your design approach.

Let me know if these tips are helpful, or if these are tiresome.

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